Meet Mark Lannigan, A23

School: School of Arts and Sciences

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Home: Any tight-knit community, like the one where I grew up, in Medway, Massachusetts.

Why was Tufts the right place for you?

The political theory program here appealed to me. Also, I loved the campus climate: people are helpful and kind, and there’s a cooperative environment that I believed I could thrive in—and I know now that I was right. Tufts has been more than I could have hoped for.

What’s something you’ve done outside of the classroom during your time here that’s shaped who you are?

In my freshman year, I was elected to the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, the body that runs the party in the state. It’s been illuminating for me to serve in this role and then reflect on my work there in the writing I’ve done for Tufts. For example, during my junior year I conducted research about how to build strong parties and why doing so can help foster democracy. Additionally, I have brought my political science and philosophy education from Tufts to my political work, using my studies of justice and freedom to craft legislation at the Massachusetts State House and write resolutions I have passed with the state Democratic Party.

What’s one Tufts course you think every student should be required to take?

I got a lot out of The Political Philosophy of Nietzsche—but that’s probably not a class I would require everyone to take!

Justice, Equality, and Liberty [Philosophy course cross-listed in Political Science] would be useful for anyone looking to make a change in the world. It discusses questions that have dominated the human species for as long as we’ve been around, the answers to which can help us build the society we want to see. It also teaches you how to form personal opinions and argue effectively—something all students could benefit from.

What’s next?

I’m in the fifth-year master’s degree program in philosophy, so I’ll be going on to another year of study at Tufts. After that, I imagine I’ll be working in the world of politics, trying to make a difference in the world. I’m especially excited to help get young people elected into public office, and I hope that’s work I’ll continue doing far into the future.

For a bit more about Mark, check out the Tufts Now feature about The Politics and Philosophy of Kurt Vonnegut, the course he offered through the Experimental College’s Explorations peer teaching program

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